Monday 5 December 2016

Drumm's wife faces legal battle in US over sale of €2m home here

Shane Phelan Investigative Correspondent

Published 21/05/2011 | 05:00

A LAWSUIT has been initiated in the US against the wife of disgraced banker David Drumm to force the sale of the couple's €2m home here.

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The legal move was initiated after Lorraine Drumm refused to co-operate with the sale of the exclusive property in north Co Dublin, a US court heard.

US bankruptcy trustee Kathleen Dwyer has been trying to get agreement on the sale of the Malahide home to pay off some of Mr Drumm's debts.

Mr Drumm, the former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank, owes creditors more than €10.2m and has filed for bankruptcy in Massachusetts, where he moved following his resignation in December 2008.

Details of the case against his wife emerged in papers filed with a Boston court yesterday.

Ms Dwyer, who is overseeing the bankruptcy application, had already forced the Drumms to put their €4m Cape Cod mansion on the market last January.

But the trustee's attempts to put their Malahide property up for sale were thwarted by Mrs Drumm, according to the filings.

"The trustee has recently been informed that Mrs Drumm will not co-operate in the sale process, therefore necessitating the commencement of this action," said an affidavit filed by Ms Dwyer yesterday.

Ms Dwyer lodged the affidavit in a bid to get an order from a Boston judge which would allow her to proceed with the sale, regardless of Mrs Drumm's objections.

Mrs Drumm has yet to file a defence to the action.

The home at the centre of the dispute has been the subject of controversy over the past two years.

Initially the property -- located in Abington, where pop singer Ronan Keating lives -- was jointly owned by Mr and Mrs Drumm. But Mr Drumm transferred full ownership into his wife's name in May 2009.

Anglo, which is owed €8.5m from loans the bank gave to Mr Drumm, alleged the transfer was a ploy to put the property beyond the reach of creditors.

It started a legal action against Mr Drumm in November 2009 seeking the repayment of his loans and the setting aside of the property transfer, which the bank alleged was "fraudulent".

In October last year, Mrs Drumm consented to set aside the transfer and in March of this year a new entry was made at the Land Registry to reflect that the joint owners of the property were now Mrs Drumm and the trustee, Ms Dwyer.

But in the affidavit filed yesterday it is stated Ms Dwyer has been attempting to get Mrs Drumm's consent to sell the property "on a consensual basis" for "the past several weeks", only to be told that Mrs Drumm would not co-operate.

Inquiry

In the filing, Ms Dwyer also said it was her belief the Drumms had no intention of returning to Ireland.

Garda fraud officers and the Director of Corporate Enforcement have been seeking to interview Mr Drumm since launching a joint investigation into alleged irregularities at Anglo in February 2009. But he has refused to return home to co-operate with the inquiry.

The High Court heard earlier this month that there were significant delays in the investigation due to the refusal of certain key figures to be interviewed or provide witness statements.

The lawsuit against Mrs Drumm comes just days after it emerged large amounts of cash were transferred into her accounts by Mr Drumm in the two years before he filed for bankruptcy.

Court documents revealed more than €1.1m was transferred by Mr Drumm into accounts held jointly or solely by his wife between October 2008 and September 2010.

Irish Independent

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